Rabbit in red dress wooden statue removed from WKU campus

A wooden statue of a rabbit in a red dress at the top of the Hill was removed this summer by WKU because the old tree trunk had rotted out.

Nick Bratcher

Many changes occurred on WKU’s campus over the summer to facilitate traffic, give students more food options and improve the beauty on the grounds, but one change was especially unique — removal of the wooden bunny statue with the red dress.

Located at the top of the Hill between Garrett Conference Center and Potter Hall, the large wooden rabbit was created by the Department of Facilities Management in an attempt to beautify a dying tree.

“It was just an effort to do something with a trunk three years ago when the tree was clearly dead,” said Helen Siewers, WKU’s landscape architect.

The statue’s wood began to rot, forcing the department to remove the statue earlier this summer, Siewers said.

 “We took a temporary opportunity for art, and it had reached the point where it was just deteriorating rapidly,” she said. “We had reinforced it with concrete inside the cavity in the trunk and also with rebar.

“It just wasn’t enough to keep it in place and looking good.”

The rabbit was originally sculpted by Maintenance Technician Chris Radus after he received permission from President Gary Ransdell, according to a 2009 WKU Talisman. It took 10 days for Radus to complete work on the 15-foot-tall tree stump with a chainsaw.

Adjacent to where the bunny sat is a bronze rabbit statue named Chauncey Too. Because Chauncey is male, Radus carved a female rabbit.

“We already had a male and if it was me, I would need something to look at,” Radus told the Talisman. “She’s winking at Chauncey, but can’t tell if he’s paying attention or not.”